Forum of Women with Disabilities in Pakistan

Posted on 19 January 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Inclusion, Networking Opportunities, Opportunities, South Asian Region, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Pakistan Disabled People’s Organization

Subject: Forum of Women with Disabilities in Pakistan

Respected All,

Greetings from Pakistan Disabled Peoples’ Organization (PDPO/DPI – Pakistan),

The issue of disability is gaining more and more importance all over the world as well as in Pakistan due the disability movement for a “rights based society” initiated by organizations of PWDs themselves since almost two decades. World Bank, World Health Organization and other donor and development agencies have included this issue in their mandates. Governments have framed various policies for PWDs including reservation of jobs, concession facilities in travelling, special training institutions etc. The Government of Pakistan has made efforts to support the rights of Persons with Disabilities in the view of BMF and National Policy on disability and now Alhamdurillah Pakistan has signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

However, despite these efforts, the sad fact is that most people with disabilities especially women with disabilities and their families remain completely un-served by government, NGOs and even DPOs.

Women with disabilities are disadvantaged in several key areas when compared with other women, men with disabilities, and the society as a whole. These women face a triple handicap and discrimination due to their disability, gender and developing world status. At the same time, Stigma remains in society at large, within communities, and even, in many cases of uneducated segments of society, within families who see disabled women as a loss of productive potential and a drain on family resources. So, while on the one hand, the strong cultural family network ensures their financial security, on the other, the stigma often results in their remaining invisible members of society.

The major barrier to employment and other socio-economic benefits for Women with Disabilities in our society continues to be attitudinal barriers; stereotypical thinking and assumption about what women with disabilities can and can’t do.

The truth is that, the range of abilities of persons within any disabilities group is enormous, we have a large number of women with disabilities in Pakistan who are taking part in the activities of daily life with courage, there is dire need to involve that women as a role model or highlight their efforts to understand the social and economic realities and possibilities with regards to disability.

We need to get rid of our stereotypical images and view each “individual” as just that “an individual”. Access to and sharing of information resources can build the capacity of local and national disability organizations, promote advocacy by and for people with disability and improve the quality of life experienced by women with disabilities.

The fist humble step of this forum is to bridge the information and communication gap between all the leading women with disabilities in Pakistan.

On behalf of PDPO/DPI – Pakistan, I would like to request you all to share your short profile with us by the end of this week, after the completion of selection process of forum members, we will decide the date for Coordination Meeting.

Your feedback and coordination will assist us to make it successful

Looking forward to hear from you,


Abia Akram,
Women Coordinator – PDPO/DPI, Pakistan

This email from Abia Akram came to me via Ghulam Nabi Nizamani. People or organizations who wish to network with the Forum of Women with Disabilities in Pakistan should communicate directly with Abia Akram, NOT We Can Do.

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NEWS: Disability Rights Fund Receives $1.3 Million from DFID

Posted on 4 December 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

PRESS RELEASE: Disability Rights Fund Receives $1.3 Million from DFID

December 3, 2008

BOSTON, MA – On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Disability Rights Fund (DRF) is happy to announce receipt of a grant of £868,000 ($1.3 million) from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). This grant will support expanded grantmaking in 2009 to disabled persons’ organizations (DPOs) in the Global South.

“With the present economic downturn, this donation is an incredible message of support,” stated DRF’s Director Diana Samarasan. “It underscores the commitment of the British government to a rights-based approach to disability.”

Utilizing the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD), DRF supports the human rights advocacy of DPOs in the Global South and Eastern Europe/former Soviet Union. Through its unique governance structure, the Fund is a partnership between donors and the worldwide disability community. A global advisory panel provides recommendations on grantmaking strategies; and panel representatives also serve on the Fund’s grantmaking decision body together with donors. Panel members come from five continents and reflect a broad cross-section of the disability community,

DFID representatives stated, “it is essential that efforts like the Disability Rights Fund continue their support of communities often unreached by more conventional development efforts. DRF represents a unique model of supporting community-led efforts to institute rights.”

DRF’s first grants decisions, announced in November 2008, resulted in a total of $800,000 in grants to 33 organizations in seven countries. Grantees include a Ugandan organization of lawyers with disabilities, an emergent Peruvian group of people with psycho-social disabilities, and a grassroots network in Bangladesh of women-led disabled persons’ organizations. For a full list of grantees and more information about DRF, see

Other donors to DRF include: an anonymous founding donor, The Sigrid Rausing Trust, the Open Society Institute, and the American Jewish World Service.


Thank you to Diana Samarasan for passing along this press release. Readers who have not already done so may wish to explore see the resource section of the Disability Rights Fund website for an extensive collection of resources related to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD); fund raising sources; and toolkits that can help organizations learn how to raise funds more effectively.

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FELLOWSHIP for International Development Internship with Catholic Relief Services

Posted on 31 October 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Nominations or Applications, Education and Training Opportunities, Fellowships & Scholarships, Jobs & Internships, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

International Development Fellow

Education: Master (MA, MSW, etc.)
Location: International, United States, United States
Posted by: Catholic Relief Services

Job Category: Management , Project management
Language(s): Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Job posted on: October 27, 2008
Area of Focus: Economic Development, Farming and Agriculture, Health and Medicine, Peace, War, and Conflict Resolution:)
Type: Full time
Last day to apply: December 15, 2008
Last updated: October 27, 2008


The International Development Fellows Program is designed to give those interested in a career in international relief and development, the opportunity to increase their overseas experience, gain project management experience and to be exposed to the work of Catholic Relief Services. A majority of the program participants go on to full-time employment

Fellows work for one year in CRS offices around the world in the sectors of agriculture, education, health, HIV and AIDS, microfinance and peace building. During the course of the year, Fellows are exposed to various aspects of project management including proposal writing, budgeting, working with donors, working with counterparts, and monitoring and evaluation.

Additional Qualifications:

We are looking for candidates with:

-international experience
-a relevant masters degree (international affairs, community development, agriculture, public health, international education, etc.)
-an interest in work for a faith based organization
-professional proficiency in Spanish, French, Arabic and Portuguese
-strong cross cultural skills.

How to Apply:

Applications will be accepted on-line until December 15, 2008 for July
2009-2010 placements.
Please view our website at to learn more about the program and to apply.

For additional information, please contact us at


Thank you to Dr. Amy Wilson for passing along this announcement. This announcement was first posted at the job board, People interested in this opportunity should apply or inquire directly with Catholic Relief Services at the web site and email address provided above. Please do NOT inquire with We Can Do regarding this opportunity–this blog site is not associated with Catholic Relief Services and cannot assist.

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Disabled, Poor–and Ignored: Results of Research in Zimbabwe and South Africa

Posted on 6 August 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Cross-Disability, Inclusion, Poverty, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Research conducted in Zimbabwe and South Africa has confirmed what grassroots advocates have known all along: people with disabilities aren’t just at higher risk of poverty. People with disabilities are also more likely to be ignored by many donors who support programs to end poverty.

The 77-page study is entitled, “Are Disabled Peoples’ Voices from both South and North Being heard in the Development process? A Comparative analysis between the situation in South Africa, Zimbabwe, United Kingdom and Northern Europe.” Conducted in 2005, this research explores the extent to which Disabled Peoples’ Organizations (DPOs) in Zimbabwe and South Africa have access to funding, and the extent to which DPOs were able to explain to donors what kind of funding would help them best.

People with disabilities who were interviewed for this study said they wanted to be involved with disability programs, from the planning stage through implementation. However, they felt they were often excluded, both by the government and also by DPOs themselves. The study concludes that many DPOs lack the capacity to reach large numbers of people with disabilities at the grassroots level. As a result, many people with disabilities in South Africa and Zimbabwe are not part of any network. They also usually lacked awareness of policies and programs that were meant to benefit them, such as the African Decade on Persons with Disabilities or the Millennium Development Goals.

DPOs, too, said they lacked opportunity to contribute to dialogue about what kinds of projects would be most beneficial for them. DPOs in South Africa and Zimbabwe said that donors from developed countries often impose their own tailor-made programs on them without asking for their input. They wanted to be more involved with designing the programs that they implement. DPOs usually were more aware than grassroots individuals of programs such as the African Decade or the Millennium Development Goals, but even some DPOs were not aware of them.

Even in the UK and Northern Europe, DPOs felt that they were struggling for donations. DPOs also complained that non-disability oriented international non-governmental organizations used information about people with disabilities to obtain donations for themselves instead of for DPOs.

The study makes recommendations based on its findings, including the need for more capacity building for DPOs in developing countries; stronger partnerships among DPOs in developing and developed countries and donors; and closer involvement of people with disabilities and DPOs in planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating programs.

Learn more about the study; download the 6-page executive summary (Word format); or the full 770-page report (Word format) at:

We Can Do found this study on the site after exploring links from the Heathlink Worldwide site.

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